Updated 1:40 p.m. Eastern Time
Donald Trump, who says he is "seriously" considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination, yesterday released what he said was his birth certificate. Trump has been , and he released the document to prove a point.
"It took me one hour to get my birth certificate. It's inconceivable that after four years of questioning, the president still hasn't produced his birth certificate," he said.
As it turns out, however, the document released by Trump was not actually an official New York birth certificate, but rather a document generated by the hospital where Trump's mother gave birth. The situation prompted commentators to sarcastically offer birther-style questions about whether Trump was born in the United States.
"Trump's mother, it should be noted, was born in Scotland, which is not part of the United States," wrote Politico's Ben Smith. "His plane is registered in the Bahamas, also a foreign country. This fact pattern -- along with the wave of new questions surrounding what he claims is a birth certificate -- raises serious doubts about his eligibility to serve as President of the United States."
Hotsheet reached Trump lawyer and advisor Michael Cohen, who is on vacation in Italy, for a response. Cohen said it was obvious that Trump has released "something that his parents had given him years and years ago and he obviously just had it put away."
"I don't think anyone's going to question whether Donald Trump is or was not born in New York," Cohen said. He went on to say that there are hospitals named after the Trump family in New York, yet the only hospitals named after Mr. Obama are in Ghana.
"It's a little bit odd," he said.
Asked whether Trump needed to release his official birth certificate, Cohen pointed out that Trump is "not yet" the president. He said Trump could produce an official birth certificate if necessary.
"If he is asked to produce a raised seal New York City Department of Health birth certificate, I'm pretty sure he can have one in as quick a period of time as you can go down and get it," said Cohen.
UPDATE: A Trump staffer today released what he says is Trump's actual birth certificate to ABC News.
Cohen insisted that Trump is "not part of this birther movement, he's just an individual that is questioning."
"What he is is a person who demands transparency, which is what the president's platform was all about when he decided to run," Cohen said, adding: "If you want to kill the comments, and you want to stop the chitter chatter about it, just show your birth certificate."
Birthers' claims have been widely disproved. The Obama campaign released a copy of Mr. Obama's certificate of live birth during the presidential campaign, and it has been verified by independent journalists. There are also a pair of birth announcements in Hawaiian newspapers from when the president was born. (Trump's camp maintains that a certificate of live birth is not tantamount to a birth certificate, even though the state of Hawaii considers them the same thing.)
Trump says he will formally announce whether he is running for president by June.
"There are many more issues of consequence that Mr. Trump will be talking about if he elects to run in June, issues that are more important to this country's future," said Cohen.